Student loan debt in the United States currently stands at over $1.7 trillion, with the average student racking up about $40,000 in debt once they graduate.
The national student loan debt is the highest ever in U.S. history, and the Biden administration has shown interest in relieving some of that debt. President Joe Biden recently said he was considering “facing debt reduction”, although he didn’t say exactly how much he was looking at.
During his presidential campaign, Biden said he wanted to “immediately cancel” at least $10,000 in student debt per person.
Read more: Biden is looking closely at canceling student loans
Last month, the Department of Education made further changes to the federal student loan system that will help millions of borrowers get closer to debt cancellation. The program helps borrowers avoid defaults by lowering their monthly payments based on their income and family size.
Although this program will help many, there are a number of other steps you can take to help you get out of debt.
If you’re drowning in student loan debt, you’re not alone: 43 million people in the United States have student loan debt. That’s one in eight Americans.
The good news is that there is help available!
A great suggestion is to look for grants that will help cover these costs. For example, the Forget Your Student Debt Scholarship is open to anyone with student debt and pays out $10,000.
Other grants are available for specific professionals like teachers, lawyers, veterans, nurses, and social workers. You can search for free grants online right here at govloans.gov or on professional association websites.
Related: In-Depth Analysis: What’s Next for the US Student Debt Crisis?
States also have their own grants and assistance programs, so be sure to review them.
Have a job? Ask your employer about repayment assistance. Some companies offer these programs as benefits to their employees.
Those with student loan debt can also apply for an income-driven repayment plan. If you qualify, you can receive a rebate on the remaining loan amounts.
You may also consider pursuing a Public Service Loan Cancellation Program, which cancels loan balances after you have made a certain number of payments and worked a certain number of years with an eligible public sector employer.
In April, the federal government extended the pandemic-related payment pause for federal student loans until August 31. The pause gives people a suspension of their loan repayments and a zero interest rate. The government also halted collections on defaulted federal loans during the pause.
Read more: Biden extends student loan freeze through August
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